Alfred Parsons or Edwin Abbey: both were illustrators, one English the other American, in what is now seen as the Golden Age of illustration. These are all very collectible illustrations, all the more special as they go together with some of the best authors of the day. All the pages come from the Harper's New Monthly magazine. The dates are all from the last quarter of the 19th century.
Born in 1852, Edwin Austin Abbey was on staff at Harpers by the time he was 19 and, despite success, recognition and raises, he left to pursue a free-lance career at the age of 22. He returned to Harpers in 1876, at the ripe old age of 24, a wily veteran at the princely sum of $50 a week (more than three times his 1871 initial salary). This book is a leather-bound collection of stories and poems, all illustrated by either the American Centennial and one of the many celebratory events was the Centennial Exhibition, which brought a wide selection of European paintings to Philadelphia. Abbey was inspired by the English contingent: Leighton, Watt, Boughton, and others. Already a proponent of drawing from life, the work of the Pre-Raphaelites inspired him further. This led to a journey to England in 1878 in the cause of accuracy in his drawings for Herrick's Poems. He remained there for most of his life.
Alfred William Parsons RA (1847-1920) was British landscape painter and illustrator, born in Somerset. He became very much apart of the close nit artist group at Broadway, probably through his friendship with Abbey -- they were roommates in London and had studios right next door to each other. He illustrated for Harper's New Monthly Magazine, having met Henry Harper through the Broadway colony. Parsons also was an avid gardener and therefore also excelled at landscape and flower drawings and paintings.
The book is in excellent condition with as only drawback that it smells slightly of smoke. I have a way of dealing with this, but it may not be totally gone. This is a great addition to a collection for Abbey and Parsons collectors. The book contains the "She Stoops To Conquer" series, as well as the Comedies of Shakespeare. Besides that there are pieces by Tennyson, Wordsworth, and many other literary greats, all illustrated by Abbey and Parsons.
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